There aren’t many teams who can get away with allowing their opponent to shoot 58 percent from the field, yet still come away with a 19-point victory.
The Miami Heat have never been like most teams, though, have they?
Because despite the seemingly poor defensive effort, the Heat were also at their most dominant on the offensive end, scoring a season-high 122 points on a staggering 61 percent from the field.
They were led by Chris Bosh’s 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting who also grabbed eight rebounds, as well as 20 points from Dwyane Wade. LeBron James also put on an exhibition, especially on the passing front, finishing with a robust statline of 18 points on 8-for-11 shooting, eight assists and six rebounds.
James made himself onto highlight reels early and often in Miami’s 122-103 victory over the Sacramento Kings. He started off the night with one of the better poster dunks of the season, throwing down the hammer on rookie Ben McLemore:
James was the main facilitator for a Heat team that recorded 32 assists on its 51 field-goal makes. Five players finished with at least five assists as the Heat repeatedly either got shots in the lane or open along the perimeter.
After continuous struggles from hitting beyond the arc, especially on open looks, the Heat made ten of their 23 attempts. Shane Battier finally broke out a slump to finish with three three-pointers, marking the first time he’s hit a three since December 10th, as well as the first time he’s made multiple three-pointers since December 5th.
It was only the second time this season Battier has hit more than two three-pointers in a game. The other occurrence was the season opener.
Dwyane Wade also hit two three-pointers, matching the total number of threes he had going into the season. It was that kind of night.
Not only did the Heat find Battier finally hitting threes, Wade hitting threes and LeBron finding a defender unwise enough to step in front of him on a dunk attempt, these plays may arguably play second fiddle to not one, but two Ray Allen dunks.
It’s the first time Allen has dunked this year, and it’s also the first time Allen has had multiple dunks in a game with Miami.
Ray was active throughout and finished with 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Miami’s offense was apparent and consistent throughout, but its defense was off for the most part, although they did force 20 turnovers that led to 32 points, including 22 in transition.
Sacramento got 27 points, eight rebounds and five assists from DeMarcus Cousins and 20 points from McLemore, which nobody will remember from this game for obvious reasons, and scored 60 points in the paint.
But with 70 points in the paint of their own and 44 percent three-point shooting, the Heat were at their best on the offensive end. They were constantly able to get into the lane off of constant ball movement and dribble penetration, while the Kings attempted to find no answers to quell Miami’s finely-tuned machine.
Miami allowed Sacramento to score a season-high 36 points in a first quarter where they also shot 80 percent, but the Heat countered it with 33 points of their own. The Kings would lead by as much as seven early in the second quarter, but a 12-0 run by the Heat, facilitated by numerous Sacramento turnovers, led to Miami taking a five-point lead.
The Heat ended the half on a 10-0 run after Sacramento had built up a four-point lead with 2:30 left.
However, Sacramento kept pushing and were only down by one following a McLemore three-pointer with 8:45 left in the third. It was at this point where the Heat began to turn on the jets, as they responded with a game-breaking 21-6 run over the next four minutes to effectively initiate the blowout.
The big run was facilitated by six points from Bosh and Battier, as well as five from Wade. All but one of the shots Miami made during the run came off an assist.
The bench plus Dwyane Wade was enough to quell any thought of a Sacramento comeback, allowing LeBron James to sit the entire fourth with 31 minutes and Chris Bosh with 26, as the Heat went up by as much as 25.
Miami went into the fourth quarter with 98 points and were at the 116-point mark of the halfway point of the fourth before the bench was eventually emptied.
Surprisingly, no Udonis Haslem three-pointers or Joel Anthony crossover dribbles on a night where the Heat were generating highlight-reel worthy plays on a possession-by-possession basis.
But this happened, and that’s just great:
The Heat move to 4-0 on their five-game homestand, which comes to a close Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks, the only other team in the East outside of Indiana and Miami to possess a record above .500.